Once upon a time, in the early 80′s – before most of ever even heard of the Internet, I used to do what I called “Unplugging”. One Friday per month after work, I’d go home and I would unplug, meaning I would not watch TV, I wouldn’t listen to music, I would unplug the phone (who remembers when phones were attached to the kitchen wall with a long tangled cord draping down to the floor so that you could cook and talk on the phone at the same time?… the long cord also let me walk into a different room to get away from my nosey sister… but I digress), I wouldn’t even turn on any lights when it got dark. Instead I’d eat dinner, read, take a bath, write a letter, all by candle light. I was obviously single with no friends.
Now, 30 short years later, much of what most of us do in our daily lives involves being connected to the Internet or something electronic. The obvious things that take up most of our time are social networking, text messaging, emailing, online shopping, blogging, sharing your favorite 100 or more photos that have some of instant filter added to them, watching really bad Youtube videos of cats or people doing really silly (useless) things, and my all time “favorite” – unboxing videos! Being connected to the Internet used to mean being glued to your computer by phone line and modem while the rest of the world continued on without you. Now you can continue on with the rest world (sort of) and still stay completely connected, sharing your every move. We are all celebrities in our own minds, but I digress once again.
So, what to do today?
Go ahead… UNPLUG. If you’re really committed you may be able to go for a whole day. If you are a “booker”, then you may be able to go for an hour. Heck, if you can even get through dinner without checking your phone to see who “liked” your picture of the meal your’e about to eat, that would be better than nothing (do you remember what you had for dinner last night?).
- Speaking of going out to dinner. Next time you go out, stop for a second and look around you. I am constantly amazed at how many people are aimlessly staring at, swiping, texting, or just holding their phones… waiting for “something… anything… to happen. Last night there was a table of four… a mom, a dad, a brother and sister (the kids were both pre-teens). All of them were plugged in. None of them were speaking a word to each other, no eye contact, and all with the latest and greatest i-devices with color coordinated cases that matched their personalities. My guess is that they didn’t say much to each other all night, unless it was via a text.
- By the way, I’m guilty of the same thing, so while I’m pointing my finger at them, three more are pointing back at me!